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It's Not Easy Being Weedy

By Bob on May 25, 2011 6:33 AM

I hate weeds. During the summer I routinely spray Roundup on anything that looks suspiciously like a weed in a never-ending battle of man Vs nature. Nature almost always wins, but that doesn't stop me from trying. That's why I was happy when the folks at Preen asked me to try their weed preventer. Of course, you know what I said don't you internets? "Dude, you had me at pre..."
Preen Garden-250.jpg

Preen is a granular weed preventer that keeps current weeds from going to seed and stops future seeds from sprouting. To win against weeds, you need to stop them when they're seeds.


Consider this: even perfectly average weeds can pump out 15,000 seeds per plant annually. YIKES! That's more Saturday's than I have left - so I decided to give Preen a try and give my spraying hand a rest.


The result? So far, so good. Preen is preventing Charlotte's perennials from being consumed in a hostile weed takeover. From what I've seen, this stuff works - and it works very well.

Here's the 411: 


The folks at Preen are freakin' weed experts so I asked them if they'd share some summertime tips with our green thumb Boomers. Follow these six steps and you'll have more Saturdays sipping cold drinks and less time sweating it out in the garden.


How to Stay Six Steps Ahead of Weeds

Every garden is filled with millions of weeds, even if they can't be seen. You can pull, chop, spray and dig weeds out, but they remain. That's because garden soil is well-stocked with millions of future weeds in the form of seeds. Here are six simple steps that can radically reduce time and energy wasted on weeds, resulting in nearly weed-free gardening over time.

1. Get rid of existing weeds

New weeds come from mature weeds gone to seed. Eliminating those weeds is the first step. You can pull them, dig them, or spray and kill them. Whatever you do, be sure to get them, roots and all.


2. Add mulch as a first line of defense

Weed seeds beneath the soil surface are dormant.  It's only when exposed to light that those seeds sprout. Adding a two to three inch layer of mulch helps keep the seeds in soil in the dark.


3. Prevent new weeds from starting

A pre-emergent weed preventer such as Preen used in combination with mulch provides a double whammy of weed control, stopping seeds from sprouting for up to three to four months. Preen is effective spring, summer and fall, so any time is a good time to apply it.


4. Activate the weed-control barrier

After applying Preen weed preventer, just water it in to activate it. Once activated, Preen bonds with soil particles, creating an invisible weed-control barrier that prevents weed seeds from forming roots for up to three to four months.


5. Eject any weedy volunteers

Sometimes unseen weeds will have already sprouted before you lay down mulch and weed preventer. As you see them, pull them out. 


6. The campaign continues

In mid-summer, a second application of Preen helps squelch windborne seeds from weeds that set seed in late summer or fall.


To learn more about weeds, weed prevention and for timely seasonal gardening tips, visit Preen.
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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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